This month in my advanced entertainment law class we are discussing how to protect your business through intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, copyright, and trade secrets. My overall goal for this class was to learn the rules and regulations for how copyrights and trademarks relate to the fine arts industry for things such as what you can and cannot protect and for when an artist may be in breach of another person’s intellectual property.
One of the main things I learned was that you could register something as both a trademark and a copyright. For example, take a company’s logo, you can register the name and logo as a trademark, and then also register the 2D visual art of the logo design as a copyright. One of the main reasons for doing this is; it protects your business in case someone tries to use your logo, and in the case, that someone does try to use your company’s logo you can then take legal action and sue them for infringement on the trademark and the copyright.
In conclusion, I learned that an artist can easily be in breach of another person’s intellectual property. For example, take a ceramic artist using recycled materials to make a 2D collage or a 3D art sculpture. If they used something such as old Coca-Cola logos or old Coca-Cola bottles then they would be in breach of multiple trademarks and copyrights if the logos or glass bottles were still visually recognizable. Unless the artist had permission from the Coca-Cola company to use their company name, logo, slogan, color, and the visual art design of their glass bottles in the artist’ 2D or 3D art piece. In the end, I learned that it is better to ask for permission from a company to use their intellectual property, then it is to spend the time and money to make an art piece, and then get caught for infringement when you try to sell or display it.